2010 – Review Of The Year Part 2

THE VPME- Review Of The Year 2010

In part one of our review of 2010, we looked back on the year and had a good old moan, in part 2 we ask our music loving chums the age old question ‘How was it for you?’


Laura Barton-The VPME Review Of The Year 2010

LAURA BARTON : ( The Guardian, The Loose Moorelles, Author and Glasto aficionado)

Laura Marling : ‘I Speak Because I Can was my album of the year. I just feel alternately astonished by its level-headed wisdom and stirred by the sheer strength of its emotion. I particularly love the title track as well as Blackberry Stone and Goodbye, England. Her voice, especially in its stillest, coolest form, just twists my insides up. I’ve seen her play live several times this year — from a tiny album-launch performance in an East London house to a moonlit show at Glastonbury, and every single time she has awed me.

“Blackberry Stone” By Laura Marling

Port Eliot Festival : I drove to Port Eliot, which took one hundred years, and then almost as soon as we arrived had to go on stage to sing with the John Moore Trio featuring the Loose Moorelles. It was the rainiest night in the world, and I would like to sincerely thank our poor sodden crowd for attending. We enjoyed it very much. There are few festivals so calm and so beautiful.

“Nadine” By  The John Moore Rock n Roll Trio ft The Loose Moorelles.

Edward & Mr Kingfisher : Sir John Moore’s adventures in musical ventriloquism have been one of my greatest joys of the year. Their interpretations of Melting Pot and The Bed are petrifying and hysterical in equal measure. On my birthday, they recorded a very touching version of Tell Laura I Love Her. I cannot tell you how delighted I was. I share a birthday with my fellow Loose Moorelle, Miss Cecilia Fage, and at our birthday gathering Moore serenaded us with a live performance of Cecilia and Tell Laura I Love Her. Sadly, Edward and Mr Kingfisher were not allowed out that night, owing to the curfew.

Leaving My Job : I joined the Guardian in 2000, straight out of university, and spent ten very happy years there, writing about everything from Iggy Pop to eyeshadow. This year I decided to leave my staff job to concentrate on writing other things as well as journalism — and to spend more quality time with my cat. Working from home is lovely. I can spend my days constantly covered in cat hair, listening to music as loud as I like, and no one bats an eyelid.

Falling in Love With Europe Again : I used to be quite besotted with the idea of France and Italy when I was a teenager, but in my twenties I fell madly in love with America. Although my love for America is unwavering, this year I fell for the charms of Europe again — I spent some time in Rome and Florence and the Tuscan countryside, as well as Southern France, and it felt oddly like coming home.

Green Man Festival : I love Green Man. It’s the perfect size and so incredibly beautiful. This year much of the weekend was balmy with this sweet, warm rain, and it smelled so rich and earthy. And of course the music was incredible — Marling, Emily Barker, and the wonderful Tallest Man on Earth. I took part in a couple of events in the lit tent, too, including one which combined music and words… it was pretty special.

The Morville Hours : This was not published in 2010, but this was when I read it. It’s Katherine Swift’s account of restoring a garden in Shropshire, which is a very plain way of describing it, because it is more than that of course. It’s the sort of book that makes you love where you’re from, its landscape and its rhythms, and Swift’s prose is pure music. If you have not read it, I recommend you do so.

Caneles : These are a kind of French pastry, with a tender little custardy centre. The best ones are the miniature ones. I ate them for the first time on a crisp, sunny day this Autumn, at a market in La Reole. They were caramelly and burnt at the edges and all sweet and squidgy in the centre. Never has anything tasted so perfect.

Meeting Von Pip  at Glastonbury : Andy Von Pip  and I spent half of Glastonbury trying to meet up for an ale. A combination of mobile phone problems and the demands of work meant that we didn’t actually run into one another till the final day — by which time we were both derangedly tired, totally sweltering and entirely monosyllabic. Amusingly, we had been camping about two steps from one another for the entire festival. Anyway, it was lovely to finally meet.


Lowlights : I am a fundamentally optimistic person, so there are fewer lowlights than highlights. But when I mean it, I really mean it.

Tory Scum : Several months into this government, my main thought is simply how long it is going to take to clear up the mess they make. They are loathsome, ignorant and immoral fuckwits. On the plus side, I hope that a new generation might become politicised, that we become a nation of marchers, and that we hear some darned fine protest music.

Forests : Anyone who knows me will tell you how much I love nature. You will doubtless laugh, but standing in a forest, or a field, moves me so much I genuinely want to cry. It’s like hearing the perfect song. So you can begin to imagine how angry I am about the government’s plans to sell off all of the Forestry Commission’s estate. That’s 635,000 acres of English woodland. The effect it will have on our landscape, on the habitat of so much of our wildlife, and, in a funny old way, on our national psyche, is just horrifying. I fucking hate this government with a fiery passion.

Snow: I’m not very good at being cold. As soon as we get to October I pretty much can’t feel my fingers or my toes, and I live in fear of February. This year, Winter seems to have been colder than last year, and we have had so much snow. I appreciate it’s very pretty, but oh god I am freezing. Roll on Spring.


Emmy The Great - THE VPME- Review Of The Year 2010


2010 was a massive year for me and my family- I can’t possibly sum up the highs and lows in a few short sentences, though some of the lows were life-changing enough to be highs in hindsight.  Musical lows though: My three week flirtation with X-Factor and how swiftly all the zeal was forgotten the day after the final Musical high: recording our album this November and singing with Ash


Ritzy Bryan- The Joy Formidable THE VPME- Review Of The Year 2010

RITZY BRYAN: The Joy Formidable :

Our personal highlights this year included playing with Paul McCartney & Manic Street Preachers at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, eating skyr and buying woolly jumpers at Airwaves Festival, Iceland & seeing Californian sea-lions and dolphins on our tour of the West Coast. Speaking generally 2010’s lowlights included the devastating Haiti Earthquake, the death and destruction caused by the BP oil spill , the election and worse still the aftermath that beckons.


Spark - THE VPME- Review Of The Year 2010


2010 has been a roller coaster. I’ve learnt a lot, I’ve grown a lot. Halfway through the year I had my first gig, then I left school, then I went on tour and things just haven’t really stopped. I’ve met amazing people, I’ve written a lot, I’ve travelled a lot, I’ve had some very special moments and have had loads of firsts – video, photoshoot, tattoo, single release, contract, festival.. etc. It’s been an incredible year, and will be tough to beat. Although, I have a preeeetty good feeling about 2011 too, I think it’s going to be a big one!

‘Revolving’ By Spark


Paoloma Faith- THE VPME- Review Of The Year 2010


Highlights: Young people became politicised again after years of silence and preoccupation with material things. They marched! It was a shame there was violence but on the plus side they realised they can make important changes. I hope it works! Maybe next election they will all vote?

Lowlights: The film ‘Avatar’ came out and people actually thought it was good and not just an east London warehouse party.


Rachael Run Toto Run THE VPME- Review Of The Year 2010


We didn’t put much out in terms of releases in 2010 as we spent a lot of time in the studio recording and writing songs, it’s been hard work but we feel it’s paid off. We also did a silly amount of gigs in a lot in great venues with some bands we admire but some of our favourite gigs were the house parties, the rammed gig in our basement, the playing to a room of screaming 16 year old girls in Brighton or a room of toddlers in Hackney, the odd ones that looked weird on paper, but which were really entertaining. There’s been some experiences this year that money just couldn’t buy.

‘This Is A Lull’ By Run Toto Run.


The Good Natured-THE VPME- Review Of The Year 2010

SARAH  MCINTOSH ( The Good Natured):

2010 has been a great year for The Good Natured! I have written a lot of our best songs this year and we have played some amazing gigs. Our favourites have been Club NME at Koko, supporting Kesha at Shepherds Bush and playing Latitude festival! Other highlights would have to be travelling to Stockholm to write, and of course releasing our two singles, ‘Your Body Is A Machine’ and ‘Be My Animal’. It was also an honour to be picked for the Kitsune Maison 9 compilation. It was amazing to record our session at Maida Vale this year too, and have our session picked by Huw Stephens as one of the best of 2010! All in all, a good year. Bring on 2011!

‘Prisoner’ By The Good Natured.



Paisley & Charlie - THE VPME- Review Of The Year 2010

Charlie : Well, my highlights are:

Playing The Cavern Club twice and recording with Paul and Carl (This Final Frame) / sitting on the grass at Indietracks after we’d done our set (twice) on the steam train and listening to The Smittens, The Orchids and The Primitives and feeling completely at home / our 5-countries in one day European tour to Berlin (everything about Berlin was just fantastic and the best (plugged-in) gig with the best people (not forgetting the bloke who found us lost and showed us the way to the gig and then came to see us).

The worst aspect of the year was finding out first hand that if you have money you can hire legal people to make false allegations about someone without any notion of truth or grounding and then withdraw the accusations and b*gger the consequences or the trauma you have caused.

Musically, the worst aspect was constantly being shunted down the bill purely on the grounds of not having a drummer. Generally the worst aspect of 2010 is the inexplicable rise and rise of shiny-floor, ‘have you noticed’ comedians who simply aren’t funny and X-Factor being even more shit than previously imaginable.

Paisley: highlight of 2010 – The Vajazzle! Lowlight of 2010 – The Vajazzle.



MILES HUNT (The Wonderstuff):

2010 was another great year for me. Erica & I were kept busy playing acoustic shows & The Wonder Stuff did a short tour celebrating the 21st Anniversary of our second album ‘HUP’, as well as a few UK festivals.

I think my proudest achievement of the year was producing Dirty Ray’s album, ‘Big World For A Little Man’. I’ve been a fan of Ray’s music since the mid 1980’s so to work with him was a real thrill. As an artist he has just got greater & greater over the years. Also discovering the we worked well together was wonderful, you just never know about these things until you actually get into it. A great privilege to work with him.

I also spent a great deal of time recording & mixing artists for the second ‘Shared’ album, which will be released in early 2011. Favourite gigs that I did would be too numerous to mention, but seeing Seasick Steve when we played at Cambridge Folk Festival was definitely a highlight.

Low points would be losing our favourite pub here in Shropshire, The Horseshoe Inn. Like so many other pubs, suffering in the current economic climate, it just became too much for Mo & Bob Macauley to keep the place going. So many good times spent there, playing, seeing other artists & just hanging out. It was the birthplace of ‘Shared’ & will be sadly missed by many people.

It was another piss poor year for new records, other than Gil Scott Heron’s “I’m New Here” I can’t think of another album that got repeated plays at our house. Erica & I didn’t even manage to get one out ourselves this year, we must all try harder in 2011!

‘Old Man In Young Mans Shoes’ By Dirty Ray


Oliver Dogwood THE VPME- Review Of The Year 2010-'Settle Down'

OLIVER DOGWOOD ( Cheambeat Communications ):

Listen we all know the Tories are pillocks of the highest order. You only have to listen to George Osborne to know that, and as for monotone Hague, well despite all the rumours I suspect he’s too dull to be gay. Cameron? I’m not spilling a word on him.

But you should direct some of your bile in the direction of Clegg and co. Especially Clegg. What does he do? He poodles after Cameron, says yes to everything and gloats at his brand of bollockless power. When we knew the Lib Dems were never going to have power they could promise the earth and sneer at the big two because they knew that they were safe behind their unelectable barrier. But here we are, circumstances force us to ponder their gormless faces as ‘coalition partners’ and what do they do? Do an about face on everything and become quasi Tories. No, Clegg, Cable and the rest of them deserve a frying pan in the face.

Enough of them except one thing – Students. Now I always imagined students to be scarf wearing beatniks who would only protest if you stopped them watching ‘Countdown’ or threatened to confiscate their lentils. But they have restored my faith. Keep it going. Bring this lot down.

Musically it’s been an unremarkable year with the odd exception.  I like the monkeying around by Gorillaz  but I can’t understand how in this day and age, we allow ‘fish men’ to be in bands.  JLS have a man with possibly the biggest eyes in known history. They sit, either side of his head and afford him 360 degree vision. Get your thyroids checked Marine Boy!


Catherine AD -THE VPME- Review Of The Year 2010


The song that made me cry most often at 4 in the morning  was ‘Zebulon’ by Rufus Wainwright. A new album that I became really obsessed by was Perfume Genius’ ‘Learning’ and an old record I didn’t stop listening to was Laura Nyro’s ‘New York Tenderberry’. The nicest vegans I met this year were No Age on a strangely serendipitous trip through California where my lowlight of the year also occurred via an unfortunate encounter with the American health system because of a dodgy kidney… My favourite gig I played this year was flying back to the UK and playing Summer Sundae severely jetlagged fired by rocket fuel and fear. Remix of the year has to be ‘Wonderful Life’ by HURTS (the Arthur Baker remix) which was what turned me on to the band in the first place and led to me covering their song ‘Better Than Love.’

The most beautiful films I saw this year included ‘A Single Man’ (breathtakingly beautiful debut by Tom Ford), Nowhere Boy (more boy eye candy….) & Greenberg (which was brilliantly funny). My websites of the year are Jezebel (for guilt-free lady writings) & http://bookshelfporn.com/ (for the pulpy eye-candy). And lastly, my essay of the year (a little bit of homework) is ‘Death is Not The End’ (about the wonderful dear departed author David Foster Wallace) (http://www.thepointmag.com/archive/death-is-not-the-end/)

‘Better Than Love’ By Catherine AD


Little Comets- THE VPME- Review Of The Year 2010


2010 has been a bizarre year for us with three new houses, one marriage and a constantly breaking van. Mickey can fix anything with a can of ether though so all is good. On the musical side of things we’ve played a lot of surprisingly enjoyable gigs like Y-Not Festival and one with a silent-then-loud-but-always-perfectly-responsive crowd in Norwich. We got to travel to Europe playing music which was a lot of fun; and hearing Isles on the radio through our own steam was lovely.


Johnny Cola-THE VPME- Review Of The Year 2010

JOHNNY COLA (Johnny Cola & The A Grades) :

When you joined us at the start of 2010, our guitarist Mauro had absconded to South America on a “fact-finding mission” and we’d just recruited the thoroughly awesome Jez Leather as his replacement. A heavily delayed 7″ single, ‘Out Of Focus,’ came out late in January. Although mysteriously A-listed on an Essex commercial radio station, it failed to propel us into the realms of mega-stardom we felt we so richly deserved. We did however get to go and do an acoustic session at said radio station (Phoenix FM) in March, much to the bemusement of the shoppers of Brentwood.

Following the dismal right-wing coup of early May, Mauro flew back to rejoin us, swelling our numbers to five and heralding a thoroughly beefed-up sound. When times are tough, your strength is in numbers. With this in mind, we roped in a bunch of extras for the video of our next single, ‘The Party’s Over,’ to spectacularly drunken and surreal effect. After the single, we were finally ready to unleash our long-awaited debut album, ‘In Debt.’ The album launch at Feeling Gloomy (also featuring our friends The Melting Ice Caps, Rebekah Delgado and Simon Morgan) was a great success and the glowing reviews started to, if not pour in, then definitely appear in a healthy trickle from all corners of the web.

It was a pity therefore that our original rhythm section chose that moment to quit. Still, as a great philosopher once said, I’d rather jack than Fleetwood Mac. Come Daydream Nation in late November, and a hastily assembled replacement lineup, including Tommi from the wonderful Yeah And She Has Red Lips Too and bassist Simon Drowner, took to the stage with a certain degree of trepidation. We needn’t have worried, as the universal reaction was how much better the new band sounded live. We finished the year with our now traditional Christmas song – this one a new track called ‘All I Want For Christmas Is An Action Man’ – and a gig at a St Mungo’s homeless shelter.

As for next year, the current plan involves a European tour and getting tattoos. We’ll report back at the end of 2011.


So there you have it,  2010 in a nutshell, a year which saw Machiavellian scheming of the highest order. A year in which attacking and dismembering the public sector became  the blood sport of choice for the rich and over privileged. Indeed this very morning on the final day of the year, David Cameron was warned ” we have to see it through. A lot of the heavy lifting will happen in 2011.” Good luck and best wishes to everybody in 2011 because with this joker on the loose we surely will need it. . .

George Osborne- Public Sector Massacre -THE VPME


2010 – Review Of The Year- Part 1

2010 Review Of The Year -THE VPME

Review of 2010-Part 1

Mixing pop and politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses.”

The charts have always been a refuge for the terminally bland, drawing in the vain, the vacuous and the deluded in the same way a dog turd attracts swarms of greedy flies. But this year the cacophony of corporate auto tuned drivel that’s dominated the airwaves seemed even more depressing than usual, I mean they don’t even pretend it’s about music anymore!!  If the year’s charts were truly representative of ‘pop music’ in the 21st century then I would hack off my ears and start painting sunflowers on my bottom.  So. . . what really happened in 2010 ?


Well, as ever the ‘record industry’ appeared to be light years behind technology as the corporate giants persisted in the myth that illegal downloaders were solely to blame for  the drop in the sales of recorded music.  Of course plummeting music sales over the last decade had nothing to do with the rise in popularity of console games, smart phone apps, streaming music services, the way people now engage and interact with music, or the fact that the quality of music the labels actually produced was often nothing short of abysmal. We are talking N-Dubz,  Katy Perry, The Wanted, Tinchy Stryder, JLS, The Jonas Brothers and Cheryl Cole for starters.  I mean, let’s face it , the nations yoof aren’t really going to be tempted away from their X-Boxes, I phone apps, or streaming music services by offering up their hard earned cash to purchase  Scouting For Girls latest musical abomination are they? So who is really to blame? Technology? Or those who refuse to embrace it? More on this later. . .

The year started in tragic fashion; the huge earth quake that devastated Haiti was of course dreadful, as were the two ‘big’ charity records that followed in the aftermath. From America, we were given a re-recording of the abysmal ‘We Are The World’ with the performers seemingly blissfully unaware of their own governments shameful economic policies that have been ruthlessly pursued to protect American corporate interests yet at the same time have devastated Haiti’s agricultural and manufacturing base, leaving them the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. Musically the UK was  not to be out done and Simon Cowell ensured his imminent canonisation by presenting a warblefest in excelcis with a truly lamentable cover of R.E.M’s.classic ‘Everybody(’s Ears) Hurts,’ featuring musical giants such Kylie Minogue, Cheryl Cole, Leona Lewis, Robbie Williams, Mariah Carey, Rod Stewart and Susan Boyle.  Yes, yes, I know it’s a worthy cause, but why not send the Haitians money directly? Or even money to STOP charity records forever and wouldn’t it be nice if Cowell, Lionel Ritchie, Quincy Jones et all had been a little more vocal and caring in the past over Haiti’s problems, pre-earthquake? But that’s not quite as opportunistic as a nice disaster is it and crikey it might even get political which could damage future potential sales!

Smashie and Nicey-THE VPME

Amongst early album releases which piqued our interest at VP Towers were Dag For Dag’s ‘Boo’ and BBC’s Sound Of 2010 runner up, Marina And The Diamonds  début  ‘ The Family Jewels’ … alas the mainstream charts remained interminably shite.  Lady Ga Ga, hailed by many as the most innovative and original performer of her generation continued in her role as the most successful, groundbreaking, boundary pushing, sexually provocative Madonna impersonator the world has ever seen.  At one point she even wore a dress made completely of meat to prove she, wasn’t,  y’know, like, a piece of meat. All complete bollocks d’jour of course, but she now appears to be ‘critic proof’ with columnists desperate to curry favour with Team Ga-Ga as they hang on to her every contrived, rehearsed utterance almost as if she is about to impart the meaning of life itself.   In March Damon Albarn finally produced his masterpiece with Gorillaz’s remarkable ‘Plastic Beach’ an album of breathtaking scope and depth and one which reinvigorated and indeed reinvented the whole idea of the ‘concept album’.  Gorillaz dire warnings of impending environmental catastrophe seemed somewhat prophetic when on the April 20 there was a huge explosion at the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig causing a devastating oil leak which led to substantial damage to the marine and wildlife habitat around the Gulf Of Mexico.  In fact it was very much a year of leaks.

‘Hands & Knees’ By Dag för Dag

Albums of course still leaked and Geoff Taylor of the BPI described illegal downloading, somewhat over emotionally, as ‘a parasite that threatens to deprive a generation of talented young people of their chance to make a career in music, and is holding back investment in the fledgling digital entertainment sector.” Not Simon Cowell you note, as he is able to  grease the record labels sweaty palms whilst he exploits a generation of young people, pocketing millions in the process, no it’s you, sitting there on your PC, you, the music fan are the enemy within. Shame on you!  Meanwhile instead of trying to hang on to an old broken ‘business model’ other bands were looking at new ways of giving music to music fans in a format that they actually wanted.  The Indelicates set up their own label, ‘Corporate Records’ whose mission statement read ‘As the traditional music industry struggles to adapt to the challenge of the internet, we make it simple for musicians to share, sell and promote their work. Sell single tracks or group them into multiple albums, set minimum prices or use a pay-what-you-like system, embed your tracks in blogs and share static download links on twitter and facebook. Corporate Records is designed to reflect the music market that exists and to make it easy for artists to get all they can from it.’ They also self released their second album, ‘Songs For Swinging Lovers’ which showed talent doesn’t need big budgets, just vision and belief. (Ok, ok,  a big budget would help, but would the end product really be any better and which is more important? )

But it wasn’t just the new kids on the block who’d embraced the possibilities and new opportunities that the digital age could bring, Indie veterans Ash finished their A-Z series in September 2010, a digital subscription service by which the band ambitiously released twenty six singles in one year- basically one song every  two weeks. Subscribers also received exclusive material plus the chance to grab limited edition merchandise, signed promos, gig tickets, etc etc. This made fans feel they were being included, not excluded or ripped off by a faceless corporate entity.   Meanwhile diminutive reformed sex pygmy and internet denouncer Prince, proved that you literally can’t give away his music these days as he surreptitiously attempted to slip his latest album  ‘20Ten’ into millions of copies of the Daily Mirror. The pocket-sized Jehovah’s Witness hailed the giveaway of his album as one of the most exciting developments of his entire career. Alas after hearing the album many did not share ‘His Purplenesses’ enthusiasm!  Back over on ‘Plastic Beach’ Gorillaz gave away (to subscribers) what is alleged to be the first album to be recorded on an I-pad entitled ‘The Fall’, on Christmas Day

‘Amarillo’ By Gorillaz

Without doubt the year’s biggest leaks came from Wiki Leaks. In April they posted a video which showed Iraqi civilians and journalists seemingly being killed by US forces. But this was a mere aperitif to the main course when they released the Afghan War Diaries consisting of more than 76,900 documents. This was soon followed by the Iraq War Logs and U.S. State department diplomatic cables. Another kind of leak, purportedly from a split condom, landed Wiki Leaks founder and Man Of  The Year, Julian Assange, in hot water, a situation which currently sees him under house arrest in the U.K. at the behest of the CIA Swedish judiciary following claims of sexual impropriety.

Wiki Leaks Condoms

Sarah Palin proved that  she and her wacky ‘Tea Party’ friends are just about as crazy as shit house rats by claiming that Assange  should be ‘pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders’ This from the women who said in an interview with right wing screwball Glenn Beck, obviously, we’ve got to stand with our North Korean allies.”

Facebook and Twitter went from strength to strength whilst MySpace cleverly transformed itself into an unusable, shambolic mess, proving once again, that Murdoch’s money poisons all that  it touches. The Twitterati went into mourning after their benevolent father Stephen Fry apparently withdrew from the social networking site after not saying that women aren’t generally too keen on making the beast with two backs, and certainly not saying it’s the price they are willing to pay for a relationship”. Bottom spanked, and suitably chastened, Stephen soon returned to merrily tweet away about his love for the Apple God, Norwich City FC and sweetmeats in the shape of ironmongery. Order was restored in the Twitterverse.

Stephen Fry Quits Twitter?

The Brit awards were as pathetically irrelevant as ever, a fact confirmed by the bestowing of a ‘lifetime achievement” award on Gods own red-coat,  Robbie Williams, who, desperate to revive his flagging career, teamed up again with Take That. Williams and Gary Barlow also gave us the most cringe-worthy, smug, homo-neurotic -unerotic video in history with the utterly dreadful ‘Shame.’ A song that demonstrated that your average six year old has greater lyrical dexterity than these two gurning chumps.

Liam Gallagher also made a prize plumb of himself at the same awards, openly snubbing his brother Parker from Thunderbirds look-a-like Noel, and tossing his award into the crowd. The evenings host, chubby comic Peter Kaye merely stated what many had been saying for years.

Liam however was none too happy and later tweeted with one imagines, a furiously furrowed mono-brow, whilst summoning up his famed poetic eloquence “Listen up fat fuck, As a real northerner I was brought up 2 say shit 2 people’s faces not behind their back. Live forever LG

Meanwhile The XX took the Mercury Prize and also wowed fans at Glastonbury.

In other awards ceremony fun, James Corden and Patrick Stewart clashed, which gave Corden ample opportunity to  demonstrate just why he is regarded as the unfunniest man in the country, if not the world, his half witted ripostes to Stewart’s equally bizarre insults were the stuff of TV Hell.  And let’s face it Corden’s had some stiff competition from a seemingly endless supply of singularly unfunny comics who were  inexplicably given their own TV shows this year. I give you, John Bishop, (Stan Boardman with botox and veneers) Michael McIntyre ( Derek Nimmo without the humility) , Rhod Gilbert (Max Boyce without the jokes), Russell Howard (George Formby minus the charm or ukulele)  and Frankie Boyle (A Netto Gerry Sadowitz, without the point ) to name but a few.

Glastonbury At 40 THE VPME

Glastonbury celebrated its 40th Anniversary and was a remarkable occasion due in no small part  to alcohol, great music, bonhomie and the most intense heat I’ve experienced outside of a microwave (review here.) Despite the populist view that Gorillaz headlining performance was something of a disappointment I found the experience of sitting in a huge valley in Somerset listening to ‘Plastic Beach’ a quite magical event, in direct contrast to the feelings encountered by around 80,000 festival-goers who briefly abandoned music to watch  England’s abject humiliation at the hands of Germany during the World Cup.  Other festivals saw the Libertines reunite ( Reading and Leeds) and erm, ELP (High Voltage Festival)  Sadly  the Love Parade festival in Germany in which twenty one people  were killed and around five hundred were  injured highlighted the dangers of cramming too many people into one area in the name of maximising profits.

Then there was the general election and it all started so innocently with the hilarious David Cameron poster campaign, mercilessly lampooned by the likes of MyDavidcameron.com where it was possible to generate your own campaign posters. Cameron’s airbrushed, faux, earnest integrity quickly became a laughing stock as the posters went ‘viral’ (we had to join in of course-see below)

David Cameron Von Pip

However grumpy old Gordon Brown (with ‘a smile as weak as an anaemic winters sun glinting off a coffin plate’) was not exactly fleet of foot during the election campaign and found himself in ‘humble-pie’ mode after privately describing former Labour voter Gillian Duffy, as a ‘bigot.’  Alas for Brown the all hearing ears of  Sky News picked up this unguarded remark via a mic that was still switched on.  But was he correct? Was he merely making a private comment that many may agree with?  Invariably a conversation that starts with ‘and all those immigrants from Eastern Europe’ can often presage something much more sinister and is precisely the sort of comment that can be filed in the same category as ” look, I’ve  got nothing against ‘em, I love Whitney Houston and I love a good curry… BUT. . .”…You obviously don’t need a map to see where this ends.  However Gillian Duffy, it transpired, did…

Gillian Duffy And Gordon Brown Von Pip

And then we had the TV debates on a set that had many commentators comparing the whole exercise to a rather dull version of the TV show ‘Blind Date’ (which when you think about how things transpired, isn’t too far away from the truth.) The TV discussions were all about Nick Clegg, everybody loved him, his brand of refreshing honesty and integrity won over the public and spawned the slogan, ‘I Agree With Nick’. A phrase which now of course, sticks in the craw like a putrid  slice of Miss Haversham’s yellowed, decayed, fungus infused wedding cake.  If you look in the Oxford Dictionary today the definition for Clegg should read: [noun] “someone who tells lies” or simply “Twat.” Oddly The Liberal Democrats performance in the general election was surprisingly muted, given the TV hyperbole, but after a hung parliament was delivered by the nation, Clegg still ended up Deputy Prime minister. He’d apparently decided that principles weren’t really necessary as he quickly jumped into to bed with David Cameron whilst simultaneously shafting his own party and voters. The only good thing to come out of the election was the decimation of the BNP’s vote.

UK election Hung Parliament 2010

The tuition fees debacle caused riots on the streets of London with Conservative HQ being occupied, much to the annoyance of Dan Bull who spotted a gap in the market and wrote one of the year’s most annoying dittys, a protest song, protesting against protesters, which included possibly the most patronising opening line ever.  For those who say rioting has never achieved anything I’d say read your history books, I for one was proud to see the youngsters leading the way and showing that this rank and corrupt coalition should be opposed at every turn.

Another devastating  blow for the coalition came when David Cameron’s hipster credentials took a severe hammering.  Johnny Marr banned David Cameron from liking The Smiths music, in this tweet “David Cameron, stop saying that you like The Smiths, no you don’t. I forbid you to like it.” Morrissey soon joined in the fun stating  “It was not for such people that either ‘Meat Is Murder’ or ‘The Queen is Dead’ were recorded;” This echoed Paul Weller’s comments when he was informed that David Cameron was a big fan of ‘Eton Rifles.’ In fact maybe now the first time voters who were conned by Cameron’s oily charm can relate to the Modfather’s 2008  rant when he said of the Conservatives “I think they were absolute fucking scum – especially Thatcher, who I think should be shot as a traitor to the people. I still think that, and nothing will ever change my opinion. We’re still feeling the effects of what they did to the country now, and probably always will: the whole breakdown of communities, trade unions, the working class – the dismantling of lots of things.” And yes ladies and gents, boys and girls it’s happening all over again!

Cameron And Murdoch  THE VPME

Thus far the coalition’s one success has been their propaganda victory (ably assisted by  the guiding hand of the chief puppeteer, Rupert Murdoch and his media machine ) in  convincing the country that it’s actually the public sector who caused the financial crisis not the bankers. To quote Bill Bailey ‘It’s genius, evil genius.’ And just to prove the coalition were taking us back to the Eighties, Phil Fucking Collins returned to the album charts with his trademark nasal mewling and sweaty top-lip. Do us a favour Phil, buy a decongestant and f**k off back to Switzerland.

Back To The 80's With The Co-alition Government

“I Hate The 80’s” By The Vaselines

There were devastating floods in Pakistan, Chilean miners,  riots around the word due to austerity measures and the X Factor runners up murdered David Bowie’s wonderful mini epic ‘Heroes,’ a song  about two lovers who meet in the shadow of the Berlin wall, which had all its sweeping, elegant, cold war majesty stripped from it and was rendered absolutely lifeless by the karaoke brigade.  These I’m sure you are acutely aware, are all signs of the impending Apocalypse. Cowell’s unrelenting sodomy of popular culture continued unabated and bizarrely he was even being accepted as a force for good as he continued to stretch the link between talent and success to breaking point. People have called me elitist in the past due to my hatred of all things X Factor, but really, when you think about it, is there really anything more elitist than sniggering from a perceived position of superiority as young, naive people are humiliated on TV by very rich, very smug people in the name of ‘entertainment’? It’s cruel, its nasty and it’s Bread and Circuses.

Cheryl Cole continued to cement her place in the public’s hearts as national sweetheart, her alleged racist brawling now well and truly airbrushed from her resume. We all make mistakes of course, and Cole’s sexless, joyless, mimed clunking performance at the Brit Awards was yet another clanger and also a crime against music.  In other news Green Day decided to change their name to “Glee Day” and clambered aboard the  jazz hands a go-go high school musical bandwagon as ‘American Idiot’ was turned into a Broadway musical, proving they are about as punk rock as my Aunt Maud.  Has anybody sold out this much since Nick Clegg ?    Hollywood once again demonstrated it’s uncanny ability to waste money is second to none, with only ‘Shutter Island’ and ‘Megamind’ shining some light on the turbid sea of celluloid shite.

It was a year that proved truth is stranger than fiction when the former England international footballer Paul Gascoigne, arrived in the Northumbrian town of Rothbury to offer his support to gunman Raoul Moat, who was in an armed stand-off with police. Gazza arrived armed with gifts for killer ‘Moaty’ including “a can of lager, some chicken, a mobile phone and something to keep warm”.  A situation which prompted his incredulous agent to splutter  “He’s doing what? I am sitting having an evening meal in Majorca. I’m speechless.”

(Full  Gazza Interview below)

It was also the year in which people continued to go to gigs and talk or shout through songs, which always pisses me off.

And it was  the year in which David Beckham’s relentless campaign for a knighthood took a slight wobble after England’s failed World Cup bid. However Paloma Faith’s Damehood is surely now in the bag?

And 2010 was the year in which the BBC finally confirmed they too shared the same view as the rest of the country with regard to culture secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Jeremy Hunt Cunt

So all in all a shite year in which we said goodbye to Malcolm McLaren, Ari Up, Dennis Hopper, Jay Reatard, Kate McGarrigle, Mark Linkous, Alexander McQueen, JD Salinger, Frank Sidebottom, Lena Horne, Michael Foot, Alex Chilton, Tony Curtis, Jean Simmons, Gregory Isaacs, Captain Beefheart, Ronnie James Dio and Turkey magnate, Bernard Matthews (who was rumoured to have booked James Blunt to play at his funeral). Perhaps the most bizarre death was ELO founding member Mike Edwards who surely was mistakenly dealt Norman Wisdom’s death card and was killed by huge runaway bale of hay which rolled down a hill. ‘The good die first, And they whose hearts are dry as summer dust Burn to the socket’ which would possibly explain why Thatcher still refuses to shuffle off this mortal coil. We also said hello again to Suede, Pulp, The Libertines and erm, Take That with Chimpy Williams.

There were many marvellous moments in 2010- Glasto, NYC, Italy, interviewing one of my heroes from The Jesus And Mary Chain,  Jim Reid, and Emma Anderson from Lush popping into VP Towers.  We also managed to put a few great bands on, locally before the recession bit deep , such as The Indelicates .


And for balance there were some mighty deep down and dirty lows. The year ended with snow, in winter of all seasons!! Or ‘Snow-meggeddon’ as described by The Daily Mail and the UK ground to a juddering halt. Well we really do need a rest to regroup and prepare for battle against the forces of evil that threaten our very existence in 2011 ie/ The Coalition 😉

So that was my year, how about yours?  In part 2 of our round up we  ask some musical chums to share their thoughts as they reflect back on 2010.

Merry Christmas 2010.

The Von Pip Musical Express Christmas 2010


Have a Happy Christmas folks, I’ll leave you with a couple of old favourites and a new  favourite . . .

Half Man Half Biscuit - Nigel Blackwell

“It’s Clichéd To Be Cynical At Christmas” By Half Man Half Biscuit.

‘Merry Christmas Baby, Please Don’t Die’ By Dum Dum Girls & Crocodiles.

And new for 2010, which is rather wonderful. . .

Ed Harcourt - The Devil Came Down The Chimney

“The Devil Came Down The Chimney” By Ed Harcourt.




The Von Pip Musical Express Awards 2010

As 2010 draws to an end it is required of all blogs to list their favourite albums, it is in fact, the law.  And so, croaking from my sick bed I attempt to reflect upon the music that inspired and moved us this year . In one way trying to rank your favourite albums numerically is a little silly. On any given day any of the top 10 these albums could have been classed as our ‘ album of the year’, but for  the purpose of  much revered  VPME Awards, we have put logic to one side and attempted  to list our favourites in some sort of order.  As ever we award the victors a rather magnificent statuette, made from purest pixels.



“WYWH”- The Concretes.

VPME - Album Of The Year- The Concretes WYWH

“My Ways” – The Concretes

‘WYWH’ emphatically proves that anybody who has previously written the band off following the departure of former vocalist Victoria Bergsman will soon be choking on large slices of humble pie because ‘WYWH’ is without doubt, a triumphant return.  The Concretes have reinvented themselves and in doing so produced an album that sparkles with a fragile beauty and a sense of yearning which is perfectly communicated by former drummer and lyricist Lisa Milberg’s airy, delicate ethereal vocals.” Also, the NME wasn’t too keen on it  which, by definition,  means it must be good!

Interview here


No. 2

I Will Be – Dum Dum Girls.

Albums Of The Year the VPME - Dum Dum Girls - I Will Be

‘I Will Be’ – Dum Dum Girls.

Dum Dum Girl’s début album for the legendary Sub-Pop label, “I Will Be” is a raw, adrenaline fuelled white knuckle ride through heartbreak and B-movie cool which employs Ronettes style vocal harmonies allied to discordant Mary Chain guitars and old school garage punk.”

Interview Here



Songs For Swinging Lovers” By The Indelicates.

The VPME Albums Of The Year - The Indelicates - Songs For Swinging Lovers

Songs For Swinging Lovers” is a musical and poetic tour de force that tackles subjects with the sort of brutal honesty that would give most traditional record labels coronaries.  Make no mistake this is a magnificent album that enthrals, shocks and delights in equal measure, full of dark poetic lyricism whilst demonstrating an unerring ability to cut through the bullshit and dismantle accepted societal truisms.”

Review here

Listen to and download album here .


4. Plastic Beach‘- Gorillaz.

I always found Blur a tad overrated, and conversely often found Gorillaz a mite underrated. Often dismissed by many as a clever clogs, art school ego trip, ‘Plastic Beach’ is Albarn’s opus and proves finally that he really is a clever clogs, art school, ego-tripping genius. Like him or loathe him, the musical world would be a lesser place without him.

5. ‘The Hundred In The Hand- The Hundred In The Hand.

This really is a marvellous début from the seemingly endless stream of bands that appear to be pouring out of  Brooklyn at present. Dark electro pop that manages to be seductive yet stand offish, and is as you’d expect from a hip  Brooklyn duo, achingly cool without really trying..  A bit like me.

6. Grinderman 2- Grinderman.

7. Stridillium II- Zola Jesus.

8. Crazy For You – Best Coast.

9. Slide Over – The Kiara Elles.

Release a great début and split up in the same year, that’s proper rock n’roll innit. In an industry that is unwilling to take risks and one which will generally always go for the safe bet, maybe the Kiara Elles fate was inevitable.  Mike  Sizemore’s tweet referencing  The X Factor loving public, possibly summed up the current state of play best  “I wish all the real musical talent that we’ve lost over the years could rise from the dead and tear you all limb from limb for watching shit.” Or as the band said ” Unfortunately the record industry machine prefers to plug away at Scouting for Girls and other shit we hate to have time for us so there you go”

‘Laser Shot’– The Kiara Elles

10. ‘I Speak Because I Can’ -Laura Marling.

Still only twenty, Ms Marling sings as if she’d experienced a thousand lifetimes in an album that covers heartache, betrayal, death and redemption.  All the good shit.

11. Sex With An X – The Vaselines.

12.The Fool – Warpaint

13.  The Family Jewels- Marina And The Diamonds.

Possibly not achieving the longevity I’d anticipated upon first hearing the album, it’s still an excellent ‘pop’ album.   Maybe in retrospect if I was being honest, I’d have preferred an edgier approach in terms of the production, as it can seem a little too polished at times but hey ho .  The real winners on this album  are the slower numbers such such as Obsessions, Numb, Rootless, and of course Iam Not A Robot  as these contains the seeds of potential greatness.

14. Boo- Dag For Dag

“Hands & Knees” By Dag For Dag

15. “In The Wooded Forest’ – Savoir Adore

16. “Sugar For My Soul” -Sweet Jane

17. “Total Life Forever” – Foals

18. Treats – Sleigh Bells

19.  “Release Me” – The Like

20. ‘Postcards From A Young Man’ – The Manic Street Preachers

Despite appearing on “Strictly Come Dancing” (“We destroy light entertainment” ) and despite the overblown duet with Ian McCulloch, which in theory I should of loved ,there’s still enough in this album to merit a place in my cynical jaded old heart. So there. ‘Don’t Be Evil‘ is possibly my favourite, and lets face it the lads are getting on, you can’t be a ‘Generation Terrorist’ for ever.

21. The Noyelle Beat – Standard Fare

22. “Disconnect From Desire” – School Of Seven Bells.

“Windstorm” By School Of Seven Bells

23.  Frankie Rose & The Outs -Frankie Rose & The Outs

“Girlfriend Island” ByFrankie Rose & The Outs.

24. “The Ballad Of  The Big Machine”- Emiile Simon.

“Devil At My Door” – Emiile Simon.

25. In Debt’- Johnny Cola & The A Grades

“The Party’s Over”– Johnny Cola & The A Grades

26. ‘A Coming Of Age’- Lucky Soul

27.’ Fire Like This’  – Blood Red Shoes

28. ‘The Suburbs’- Arcade Fire

29.  ‘Without Why’ – Rose Elinor Dougall

30.  All0 Darlin’ – Allo Darlin’



Best Songs Of 2011

The VPME - Songs Of The Year 2010

1.  ‘Ill.’- The Indelicates

Really, this kind of sums up my year!


2.  ‘Sea Talk’ – Zola Jesus

As I’ve said before, this is the aural equivalent of the sun rising.

3. ‘Nine Lives.’- The Kiara Elles

Maybe not the most obvious choice on the album, but kind of sums up the appeal of the band for me. It’s the sort of music  that recalls a young me furtively listening to John Peel under the covers via an old tranny ( that’s a radio, not a transvestite I hasten to add.) The Au-Pairs, Delta Five and The Passions all spring to mind. Which is of course a very good thing.

4. ‘ Melancholy Hill’ – Gorillaz

Reminds me of the stone circle at Glastonbury. Which is nice.

5. Palaces Of Montezuma’ – Grinderman

All you need to know about this song is that whilst  Joe Public laps up utter shite like ” “So I got busy throwing everybody underneath the bus /And with your poster 30 foot at the back of Toys-R-Us” Mr. Cave gifts us lyrics such as “The spinal cord of JFK / Wrapped in Marilyn Monroe’s negligee.” That is all.

6. ‘Undertow’ –Warpaint

7.  ‘Wreckin’ Bar’ –The Vaccines

8. ‘Get Some’ –Lykke Li

9. ‘Early Bird’ –Savior Adore

10.  ‘Crazy For You’ – Best Coast

11. Spanish Sahara’- Foals

12.  ‘Jail La-La’ –Dum Dum Girls

13.  ‘Don’t Ask’ –Blood Red Shoes

14.  ‘Don’t Be Evil’ –The Manic Street Preachers

15.   ‘Numb’ – Marina And The Diamonds

16. ‘Bleed’ – Sweet Jane

17.  ‘Raptor’ – The Horn The Hunt

18.  ‘Binary‘ – Ash

19.‘Your Body Is A Machine’ – The Good Natured

20.  ‘Confessions’ – Blindness

21. ‘Isles’ –Little Comets

22. “Civilian’-Wye Oak

23. ‘Commotion’– A Hundred In The Hand

24. Kiss Your Lips- Allo Darlin’

25. ‘You Forget So Easily’– Exlovers

26. ‘Five Trees’– Chapel Club

27. ‘Release Me’- The Like

28. ‘I Should be A Communist” – Too Many Boyfriends

29. ‘Carry On’ – Rose Elinor Dougall


30.”Violet’ – H Bird


Video Of  The Year


1. “Binary” – Ash.

Ok so the footage wasn’t shot this year, but it’s the first sight we’ve had of the infamous Ash slasher movie. Oh and it features a Charlotte Hatherley shower scene.

2. ‘Isles’- Little Comets

3. ‘Melancholy Hill’ – Gorillaz

You cant watch it here, you’ll have to follow the link.


Compilation/Reissue of the Year.

Need you ask ?

“Upside Down- The Best Of” – The Jesus And Mary Chain,

Upside Down - The Best Of The Jesus And Mary Chain

“All Things Must Pass” – The Jesus & Mary Chain.

Interview here


Gig Of The Year – Glastonbury – 40th Anniversary


And a couple of nice quotes from the year

“How did this violent thug become the nation’s sweetheart?” – Bill Bailey


“Maybe it’s time for the people who complain that they can’t make enough money from music , to stop making music  ?”Julia Indelicate.

“He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands, Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al-Qa’ida and taliban leaders?”Sarah Palin on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, proving she’s a fucking lunatic.

‘”When I seen bands like The Drums being fawned over, it makes me feel ill, there is literally no soul in that band. They’ve taken nothing from the depth or poetry or amazing lyrics of Ian Curtis, they’ve just taken his kooky dance. The whole generation is attired in American Apparel, there’s no individualism any more.” – Nicky Wire (Manic Street Preachers) -Amen to that.


“There is a gulf in values between myself and David Cameron. They have no progressive reform agenda at all – only an unbearable sense of entitlement that it’s just their time to govern”Nick Clegg, proving he’s a c*n*t. Which leads us finally on to. . .
Nick Clegg.
Nick Clegg Liar


Something For The Weakend w/e 16/12/2010

This Week : Wye Oak, Thomas Tantrum, Matt And Kim, Saint Etienne and Uncle Shane MacGowan.



Wye Oak- Free Download.

Wye Oak Free download

“Civilian” By Wyre Oak.

On March 7, 2011, (March 4 in Germany and Austria) City Slang will release Wye Oak’s third album, Civilian on CD, LP and digital download. Before that, they play London’s Water Rats on January 29th 2011, returning to the UK after their last show supporting Spoon at their ATP show back in November.

On signing Wye Oak, City Slang said “This band has been on and off our radar for quite a bit now. Their last releases did resonate around this here office somewhat, but nothing prepared us for the sheer musical brilliance, the quantum leap that the duo of Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack would offer up with this new album of theirs. They have really come out of their shell on Civilian.”



Thomas Tantrum- Free EP.

Thomas Tantrum Free EP

‘Lonely Eyes’ By Thomas Tantrum

Thomas Tantrum return with a free EP you can download, but we’ll let them explain

“There will be a single early next year, and plenty more to follow after that, but in the mean time we’ve made you a Christmas present!  We trotted off to Real World Studios in Bath last week and came back with three brand new tracks separate to the album to make up a special free download Christmas EP we have entitled “Birdsong”, and it’s out now!

To get it, all you have to do is head to our Facebook page and sign up to our mailing list. http://on.fb.me/e9jYFX

Everyone who does that gets the EP as a free download.  The first 50 people will also get sent the EP on CD, as well as a Christmas card signed by us all. The second 50 will be sent the signed Christmas card. “




Matt and Kim– Free Song.

Matt and Kim Free Download

‘Where You’re Coming From” By Matt and Kim.

Matt and Kim give away a free download ‘Where You’re Coming From’ from  their third album ‘Sidewalks’, which is released physically on the 28th March via Different Records (Crystal Castles, Vitalic and Tiga).




St Etienne– Christmas Album.

St Etienne 'A Glimpse Of Stocking' Christmas Album

“I Was Born On Christmas Day” By Saint Etienne.

Saint Etienne have finally released their long promised Christmas album, entitled ‘A Glimpse Of Stocking’ the band say “It  mixes  seven old (some very rare) songs with seven brand new ones. All of the new ones are written by us except ‘Wintertime Love’, which was written by The Doors.”

Track List:

01 – Gonna Have a Party
02 – 21st Century Christmas
03 – Driving Home for Christmas
04 – Welcome Home
05 – Snowbound on the South Bank
06 – My Christmas Prayer
07 – I Don’t Intend to Spend Christmas Without You
08 – Come on Christmas
09 – Through the Winter
10 – I Was Born on Christmas Day
11 – Fireside Favourite
12 – No Cure for the Common Christmas
13 – Wintertime Love
14 – Unwrap Me
15 – Snow


Retro (xmas) Video (although not a lot happens which perhaps is a good thing) is from everyone’s fave drunken Uncle.

“Christmas Lullaby” By Shane MacGowan.

A Christmas Alternative 2010.

A Christmas Alternative 2010 – Featuring  the Boy Less Likely To,  A Damaged Christmas Gift For You Featuring TV Smith, Erica Nockalls, Planting Seeds Records, Lola Dutronic,  The Puppini Sisters and The Joyzine Advent Calender with Viv Albertine.

At the VPME we do enjoy Christmas and are rather partial to a Christmas tune or two.  And so each year we try to highlight a selection of  the best alternative Christmas songs/albums available. ‘Cos we’re nice like that.



The Boy Least Likely To- Christmas Special.

The Boy Least Likely To Christmas Special

First up is The Boy Least Likely To who release a Christmas special, which contains the fabulous “George And Andrew”. Here’s the rather bloody excellent video.

And here’s another fine festive tune

Happy Christmas Baby “By The Boy Least Likely To.


“A Damaged Christmas Gift For You”

A Damaged Christmas Gift For You

TV Smith- ‘Xmas Bloody Xmas’

Not strictly from 2010’s Christmas releases Damaged Goods Records Xmas special features Christmas viewed through ex – Advert, T.V. Smith’s eyes, as well as a host of other seasonal covers and original songs from the likes of Goldblade ft. Poly Styrene, Holy Golightly and Wild Billy Childish to name but a few .  You can get the album here .

Track list

1. Holly Golightly – Christmas Tree On Fire
2. Cute Lepers – The Cute Lepers Christmas Song
3. Wild Billy Childish And The Musicians Of The British Empire – Christmas 1979
4. Singing Loins – Ding Dong Merrily On High
5. Helen Love – Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight)
6. Thee Headcoatees – Santa Claus
7. Goldblade Featuring Poly Styrene – City Of Christmas Ghosts
8. Holly Golightly And The Greenhornes – Little Stars
9. Severe – Stop The Cavalry
10. Cuckooland – Silver Bells
11. Tv Smith – Xmas Bloody Xmas
12. Wat Tyler – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
13. Monkhouse – Guinness And Wine
14. Buff Medways – Merry Christmas Fritz


Ericka Nockalls- Christmas Song.

Some time violinist with The Wonderstuff and Miles Hunt, Erica gives us her off the wall take on the festive Christmas Song. The video features a slightly disturbing cameo by a rather familiar looking Santa who appears to have acquired the voice of Brian Blessed.




“Merry Christmas From Planting Seeds Records!”

Planting Seeds Records Christmas 2010 Free EP

Next Christmas” by Mark Crozer.

Planting Seeds records have a free Christmas Ep for you to download Here.


01: THE LOVETONES “Wintertime In Hollywood”
Originally from the LP “Axiom” courtesy of Tee Pee Records.  The Lovetones featuring members of The Brian Jonestown Massacre…….their latest LP is titled “Lost” out now on limited edition 12″ vinyl (Planting Seeds Records)

02: MARK CROZER “Next Christmas”
New 2010 holiday track from Oxford, UK singer/songwriter/guitarist of The Jesus & Mary Chain and International Jetsetters (also featuring members of RIDE)…..2011 see’s Crozer releasing a new solo single “There Is No Love” (PSR071) due out in late January.

03: THE YOUNG SINCLAIRS “It’s Christmas Time All Over Again”
Orginally from the Kindercore Records Christmas comp series – a fine take on Tom Petty’s holiday classic!  Roanoke, VA wrapped up 2010 with highly successful tour dates with The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Dungen, and a slew of others.  The band is currently working on their follow up to their EP “We Spoke Our Minds” and LP “Chimeys”….early 2011 see’s the release of a new B-sides/outtakes/archive collection “The Young Sinclairs Present” in February via PSR.

Originally appeared on 2001′s “Christmas Underground” (Bumblebear Records/PSR). The Bedroom Set were a Short lived Norfolk, VA duo who also shared label mates with indie noisemakers SKYWAVE (Oliver is now in the very cool A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS) on the band’s Cherry Coated Records imprint – the track also featured former Astropop 3 vocalist Angelique Everett.

05: LINDA DRAPER “Merry Christmas”
Produced by Kramer (Galaxie 500, Low, Lou Reed, etc) ; Originally released on the LP “Patchwork” and 2002′s out-of-print comp “Christmas With Planting Seeds”.  Linda Draper has confirmed more live dates for 2011 including a West Coast swing….more new songs in the works! Pick up her last two releases “Bridge And Tunnel” and “No Frills” at your fave music outlet!

“Pretend Like It’s Christmas Day”
Orginally appears on 2001′s “Christmas Underground” – PINKIE is multi instrumentalist Alex Sharkey who is formerly of Sarah Records legendary band BRIGHTER as well as current project ANGEL DYNAMITE who will be releasing a fantastic new EP in 2011!

07: PAULA KELLEY “Christmas time Is Here”
A cool take on the Vince Guaraldi Classic – released via Paula Kelley’s Christmas single; Paula has also appeared on several PSR compilations – her reading of “Blue Christmas” appeared on “Christmas Underground”……Paula was also in the US indie shoegaze band THE DROP NINETEENS in the 90′s


Lola Dutronic-‘Christmas Without Snow.’

Lola Dutronic’s remixed Christmas classic can be downloaded below.



Christmas with The Puppini Sisters.

Christmas With The Puppini Sisters

Get it Here.

Swingin’ and rockin’, sexy and eccentric, holiday music finally puts on the red lipstick, slips into a silky cleavage-celebrating ball gown, and goes gorgeous and glamorous with Christmas With the Puppini Sisters.

1. Step Into Christmas
2. Santa Baby
3. Here Comes Santa Claus
4. Last Christmas
5. Let It Snow
6. White Christmas
7. All I Want For Christmas
8. Mele Kalikimaka
9. Winter Wonderland )
10. O Holy Night
11. I’ll Hang My Heart On A Christmas Tree.

‘Winter Wonderland’ By the Puppini Sisters


Joyzine Advent Calendar.

Free festive downloads this holiday season at http://www.joyzine.org/ including

Viv Albertine – ‘Home Sweet Home (At Christmas.)’


Finally The Priests and Shane MacGowan revive the unlikely Crosby/ Bowie style duet thing on “The Little Drummer Boy.” Lip readers may note Shane, instead of singing “pa-rum-pum-pum-pum”, is actually mumbling “pass me a fecking double rum pum pum”. Arf !

Midweek Download-13/12/2010

Run Toto Run And Wheels.

The more astute amongst you may have noticed that the ‘Midweek Download’ this week, is actually at the beginning of the week, and thus contravenes the description ‘midweek.’ I can only apologise for this rather flexible use of the word ‘midweek’ and hope rather than get hung up on semantics, you enjoy the music. 🙂 – (Pedants may also observe that the use of the singular- ‘download’, is also misleading and the plural ‘downloads’ would have been a much more appropriate choice of wording.)

Run Toto RunThis Is A Lull.

Run Toto Run- This Is A Lull-Free Downlaod

Manchester three-piece Run Toto Run are back with a new track  ‘This Is A Lull,’ which you can download below.

In the short time Run Toto Run have been together, they’ve achieved massive radio support, seized the top spot of Hype Machine, and have performed live with the likes of Ellie Goulding, The Noisettes, Everything Everything and Gold Panda.


Wheels Free Download

Wheels- Free Download

The Merton Parkas once jauntily sang “You need wheels if you wanna make deals, you need a tyre if you wanna get higher, a man ain’t a man with a ticket in his hand. if you wanna get a girl, you need wheels’. It wasn’t one of song writing’s finest moment I’m sure you’ll agree, however London band Wheels, certainly don’t indulge  in such dreadful wordplay, probably don’t have any trouble attracting young ladies, and certainly have no need of a ‘tyre’ to get ‘higher.’ Consisting of George Runciman (Vocals/Guitar), Felix Howes (Guitar), Yacob Andersen (Bass) and Stirling Mitchell (Drums), Wheels go for Britpop cool by creating credible, commercially appealing guitar pop and after recently releasing their début single “Feel About Me” they are giving away a free track “ In My Head.”

Felix (Wheel) had a quick chat about the bands inspirations. . . .

VP: Hello there when, how and why did you guys get together?

Felix : Hi. Me and George met each other through playing together in old bands and then playing together in the same band, Stirling was in my old band and i’d known him since school, and Yacob we found on the wonderful place that is ‘Gumtree.’ We just wanted to write big tunes without putting all our energy into a specific style. I think people worry a lot these days about innovation and don’t concentrate enough on the song writing. Innovation is great when it comes as a natural evolvement, but our instincts and what feels right to us is to write songs we love that reflect music we love. We’re proud of our influences: which come from all over the place.

VP:  What artists past or present would you say unite you and which ones may have a tendency to divide opinion?

Felix : We’re pretty much into the same stuff. All the classics you’d expect nearly all the same modern ones anyway. There’s some stuff that I guess individually we’re more into but not anything that I’d say would divide us.

VP: You’ve just released your début single “Feel About Me” which highlights that indie guitar pop doesn’t just have be pretentious and quote Dostoyevsky in order to be credible. Do you think these songs a good representation of your overall sound?

Felix: I don’t think we’re one of those bands whose tracks all blur into one sound across the whole album. The songs are individual and sound that way, but i still think you could easily say it was us listening to any of them.

VP:  The video is good fun too, how did that idea come about?

Felix: Dave and Simon the producers directors pitched it to us originally and we loved it. They’re both really talented guys. We sat down in a pub to talk about it and all gave our 2 cents. Then we planned the locations and just did it.

VP:  What can we except from Wheels in 2011 ?

Felix:  Gigs, Songs and hopefully a great album.